Wednesday 24 April 2024
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Nottingham

Peggy’s Skylight jazz bar in Nottingham at risk as building to be auctioned

The owners of a Nottingham jazz bar say they have been left in a “horrible position” after the City Council told them of plans to auction off the city centre building.

Rachel Foster and Paul Deats, who run popular the Peggy’s Skylight, in George Street, say they want to put forward their own bid.

Nottingham City Council originally said it would auction off the building in February. Now, the leader of the authority Cllr David Mellen (Lab) said this is no longer the case due to legal issues.

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However, it still plans to auction off the building and will give the owners two months’ notice.

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He said the authority is considering the sale of buildings it owns “due to years of underfunding by the Government”.

Rachel said the venue, which won jazz venue of the year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2021, hosts a range of local, national and international musicians.

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A petition supporting the venue to ‘buy some time’ to gather funds to purchase the building has gained more than 9,500 signatures.

Rachel said: “We set up in 2018 and we had just found our feet, then the pandemic hit.

“Then the cost of living crisis made us worry people wouldn’t want to come out.

“We are just finding our feet again – and now we have the threat of losing the building which is really difficult for us.

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“I understand the council’s position, they’ve got debts to pay and we aren’t objecting to that. But we need time to figure out how we are going to find the money to buy it.

“The thing that’s making us nervous is if we go to auction and we’re outbid, then our future landlord might up the rent, and we don’t know what they might want to do with the building.

“It’s a horrible position to be put in. But we aren’t going to give up easily, we’ve got really good support behind us.”

@westbridgfordwirenews The owners of a Nottingham jazz bar say they have been left in a “horrible position” after the City Council told them of plans to auction off the city centre building. Rachel Foster and Paul Deats, who run popular the Peggy’s Skylight, in George Street, say they want to put forward their own bid. Nottingham City Council originally said it would auction off the building in February. Now, the leader of the authority Cllr David Mellen (Lab) said this is no longer the case due to legal issues. . However, it still plans to auction off the building and will give the owners two months’ notice. He said the authority is considering the sale of buildings it owns “due to years of underfunding by the Government”. . A petition supporting the venue to ‘buy some time’ to gather funds to purchase the building has gained more than 9,500 signatures. . Full story at the link in our bio #jazz #jazztok #jazzclub #nottingham #nottinghamshire #bbcnews #uktiktok #tiktokuk #foryoupage #fyp #westbridgford #notts #club #peggysskylight ♬ original sound – West Bridgford Wire News

Paul added that “blood, sweat and tears” had gone into the creation of Peggy’s Skylight.

He said: “When we took the building on, it was in need of a lot of repairs, renovation and refurbishment and the council didn’t have the money to do that.

“We agreed we would do the work ourselves in exchange for low rent for a period, but that period is long over now.

“Because of Covid, we couldn’t recoup the money we spent so we are in a lot of debt.

“We are pretty convinced we will be able to raise money [to buy the building] but we are just asking the council for time.

“The responses from the petition have been quite overwhelming.

“It is stressful and we are trying to get on with the day-to-day running of the club, which is hard work anyway.

“There is no real plan B for us. Our original passion for doing this is still there and it is shared by our community, so we are not going anywhere.”

Cllr Mellen said the building will not go to auction in February but added: “While it is still our intention to take it to market in the future, this should give more time for the tenants, as requested in their petition.

“Tenants within any buildings we sell are generally protected by the landlord and tenant act meaning there is no immediate risk to tenants, for example in this case we know that there is an ongoing lease in place.

“We do though understand the uncertainty this potentially causes in the longer term.

“We want to support local venues and businesses as much as possible recognising that due to the pandemic and the current economic climate, it has been a difficult couple of years.

“The changes we have introduced around the Hockley area have helped build its national reputation as one of the most vibrant city centre neighbourhoods and a great place to visit.”

•  Nottingham jazz venue owners want right to buy site as council auction looms

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